Newsletter February 2022

Electrify Brooklyn  

Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn Gets Results
The Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn (HCSB) campaign was launched in March 0f 2020, just as the pandemic was setting in. Through working with our sponsors NYSERDA and the Office of BK Borough President Adams, and a great group of community partners, we were able to move the campaign forward. We reached out to stakeholders in Brooklyn Community Districts 2 & 6 through virtual events like webinars and received well over 150 residential homes enrolled through our website by the end of 2021. In addition to virtual outreach efforts we sent postcard mailings, put up posters and ran ads on the NYC Link kiosks in the neighborhoods. HCSB has completed 51 clean heat retrofits in 1-4 Family homes in Brooklyn, facilitating contracts to convert the heating systems from gas and oil boilers to cold climate air source heat pumps (ccASHPs) which provide efficient heating and cooling. Eleven of the properties also installed hybrid heat pump hot water heaters, and five performed weatherization improvements.

HCSB Ad on NYC Kiosk

The value of HCSB’s  ccASHP installations were over $ 1.9 M and ConEd’s Clean Heat Program covered over $ 1.3 M of the costs with incentives. Even though we concentrated our campaign on two Community Districts the word spread and we fielded enrollments and implemented projects in nine neighborhoods across Brooklyn from Bushwick to East New York. HCSB also received enrollments from a range of multi-family and commercial properties. We are actively working with a number of coops and multi-family complexes to help assess and plan their retrofit projects. As we begin the 2022 campaign we are excited to have a great team of contractors and consultants on board to achieve accelerated sustainability progress for Brooklyn. 

Mayor Adams Announces His Climate Leadership Team
On January 31, 2022, Mayor Adams announced his appointment of a stellar team to lead his administration’s climate policy and implementation strategies: Rohit T. Aggarwala, as Chief Climate Officer and Commissioner of the NYC Dept.  of Environmental Protection (DEP), Vncent Sapienza as Chief Operating Officer of DEP and Kizzy Charles-Guzman as Executive Director of the newly consolidated Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. 

Mr. Aggarwala, was the first director of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning under Mayor Bloomberg, headed the sustainability practice at Bloomberg Associates, was Chief Policy Officer for Sidewalk Labs, and teaches at Columbia University. Vincent Sapienza has had a long career at DEP and was previously Commissioner. Kizzy Charles Guzman was Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, now the Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, and previously worked for the Nature Conservancy, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene and WEACT. 

  • Installing 100 megawatts of solar on schools, libraries, community centers, and other public buildings
  • Expanding citywide resilience projects and infrastructure
  • Breaking ground on a massive clean energy complex at Wards Island Water Resource Recovery Facility
  • Completing New York City’s first comprehensive study of environmental justice.

Renewable Heat Now Legislative Package Update
Renewable Heat Now is a coalition of 17 organizations working towards an equitable transition to clean energy in all buildings. Reducing use of fossils fuels in our buildings is essential to meeting New York State and City’s targets to reduce carbon emissions by 85% by 2050.  While buildings emit one-third of New York State’s gas emissions, in New York City they emit 68%. Statewide, the Climate Action Council estimates 1-2 Million homes must convert to heat pumps or geothermal systems if New York is to reach its targets. Click here to learn more about the coalition! Renewable Heat Now developed a legislative and budgetary agenda to address these needs:

  • $1billion in the State budget for all electric and electric ready housing to low-
    and moderate-income households in disadvantaged communities
  • All-Electric Building Act: S6843A/A8431 requires new buildings after 2023 to
    have all electric space and water heating and appliances except where
    technologically infeasible.
  • Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act:
    S7176/A8143 updates appliance efficiency standards, authorizes the NYC Codes
    Council to incorporate greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards into
    building codes, and enables building code changes to phase out fossil fuels in
    existing buildings.
  • Gas Transition and Affordable Energy Act: in draft, requires the Public Service
    Commission (PSC) to establish a transition to renewable hot water services and
    cooking, removes subsidies for new gas hookups, allows the PSC to limit gas
    service where necessary to comply with the Climate Leadership and Community
    Protection Act (CLCPA) ensuring affordable access to heating, cooling and other
    essential services.
  • Fossil-Free Heating Tax Credit and Sales Tax Exemption: S3864/A7493, will enact
    a tax credit for geothermal heat pump systems and will exempt these systems
    from sales tax to make them more affordable.

Legislative Package Materials can be accessed here

NYC Council Prioritizes Bills from 2021
HCSB welcomes a new City Council that will address bills that didn’t pass in 2021 that are described in an article from the League of Conservation Voters. These bills are crucial to preserving the health of the city and environment for decades to come. They include bills related to EV charging in parking garages, limiting plastic utensil distribution by food establishments, creating at least 3 organic waste drop off sites in each district, creating a recycling center in each district, streamline bike lane projects, and lead protection bills. For more information: click here!

Draft Scoping Plan for the Client Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA)
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law in 2019 as one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. The law created the Climate Action Council (the Council), which is tasked with developing a draft scoping plan that serves as an initial framework for how the State will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy usage, and ensure climate justice. On December 20, the Council voted to release the draft scoping plan for public comment.  January 1, 2022, marks the beginning of a 120-day public comment period to receive feedback from the public as the Council works to develop and release a final scoping plan by the end of 2022. An important element of the CLCPA is that 40% of all State energy funds must be allocated to disadvantaged communities. Click here to read the full document and leave a comment!


March 1st Free Webinar: Clean Heat and Solar for Low and Moderate Income Households

March 1 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Services, programs, incentives, and financing to upgrade your property to clean heating and cooling featuring speakers from NHS Brooklyn, Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee, Barrio Solar ​and Greenteam USA! 

Click here to register!

March 9th Lunch and Learn: Greening Brooklyn Small Business

March 9 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join us March 9th from 1pm-2pm for our Lunch and Learn: Greening Brooklyn Small Business! This event will be virtual, registration link coming soon.

March 29th: Energy and Equity Talks

March 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Join the Energy and Equity Talks virtual event on March 29th from 6:30-8:00pm. This event is cohosted by the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School and 2030 District, featuring a group of panelists moderated by Assistant Director Mike Harrington. A link will be available soon to register!